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The final Bush pardons
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 1/20/9 | Debra J. Saunders

Posted on 01/20/2009 7:38:42 AM PST by SmithL

On his way out of office, President Bush used his power of the pardon to commute the sentences of former U.S. Border Patrol agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean, who had been sentenced to 11 years and 12 years respectively for shooting and wounding a fleeing drug smuggler in 2005 and then covering up the incident. It was the right move.

Ramos and Compean supporters no doubt would have preferred it if Bush had pardoned the agents - which would have cleared their criminal records. In that Bush had stood by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton's prosecution of the agents, as well as the jury verdicts, this is the best outcome that was to be had.

When Bush commuted the 30-month sentence of Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the former aide to Vice President Dick Cheney, he did not fully pardon Libby. He let a $250,000 fine and two years of probation stand, although he did override the prison sentence, because it was "excessive."

No better word could describe the Ramos and Compean sentences.

Ramos and Compean say they thought Osvaldo Aldrete Davila was armed as he evaded arrest, but because he got away, there is no way to know if he was carrying a gun or just a shiny object. Sutton argued, and a jury concurred, that the agents realized they were shooting at an unarmed man. If Sutton is correct, their crime largely occurred in the heat of the chase - and never warranted sentences exceeding the usual plea bargain punishments awarded to crooked Border Patrol agents.

The reason for the long sentences - dumb laws. The federal mandatory minimum system, enacted by Congress in 1986, tacks 10 years onto a federal crime committed with a firearm.

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: bush; compean; pardon; ramos
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1 posted on 01/20/2009 7:38:43 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL

About time. He should also give them each the Medal of Freedom too since their acts and service helped keep us all a free country......for now.


2 posted on 01/20/2009 7:42:38 AM PST by BombHollywood
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To: SmithL

So, the last day W commutes 2 sentences. How many did Clinton commute or pardon his last day? 140.


3 posted on 01/20/2009 7:43:42 AM PST by theDentist (Qwerty ergo typo : I type, therefore I misspelll)
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To: SmithL

What is the reason for the months of delay in releasing these toe?


4 posted on 01/20/2009 7:44:21 AM PST by Paladin2 (No, pundits strongly believe that the proper solution is more dilution.)
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To: Paladin2
"W" feared praise from Conservatives and condemnation from Dopers financed by George Soros.

That's been the problem all along with this guy ~ no political sense.

5 posted on 01/20/2009 7:47:26 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: SmithL

If it were me, I would have commuted (not pardoned) Duke Cunningham.


6 posted on 01/20/2009 7:47:39 AM PST by Vaquero ( "an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: theDentist

Yep, but Clinton, his wife, and her brother all got paid for those pardon’s, one way or another.

‘Whats done is done’ I believe is the comment baby Rodham made after waddling out to speak to the press in his driveway....


7 posted on 01/20/2009 7:47:51 AM PST by Badeye (There are no 'great moments' in Moderate Political History. Only losses.)
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To: SmithL
Sutton applied the firearms provision to a condition it should never have been applied to. These were border agents who carried firearms as a part of their job. It wasn't as if though they wnet and got a firearm to specifically commit a crime, which is what that provision covers for criminals.

The drug smuggler evaded and resisted arrest. When one agent saw the other fall in the conforntation, he opened fire at the fleeing drug smuggler.

These men stopped a drug smuggler who was actively bringing drugs into this country as an illegal. The did not know they had hit the man at the time, so they did not report it (which was a mistake) and then proceeded with that story (another mistake).

For those mistakes there should have been administrative punishment...but not criminal prosecution IMHO.

Sutton wanted to make an abject example of these men and he did so. But they did not deserve on tenth or one one hundredth of what they got from a politically charged prosecutor and environment.

I am grateful they will be free in March and hope and pray they achieve a successful appeal of their convictions and the harm that has been done their careers, reputations and families.

But I will never forget the way they were treated. It was and is a travestuy and a very shameful thing. I am glad Bush finally commuted their sentence...I wish there had been a full pardon. At least now they will be free to pursue their appeal...and I believe if they get together and write a good book about their experiences, they will be able to provide for themselves and their families in any case.

It's a story that should be told...it's a story that needs to be told from their perspective.

8 posted on 01/20/2009 7:48:31 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: SmithL

A reporter that actually gets it right. These two were and still are criminals that deserved to go to prison. But, like the reporter, I thought the sentences were excessive.


9 posted on 01/20/2009 7:48:35 AM PST by joe fonebone (The libtard votes in every election, regardless of the candidate.)
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To: Paladin2

He didn’t want to turn the Democrats and media against him.


10 posted on 01/20/2009 7:48:35 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: BombHollywood

AGREED!!! but then it is clear that Bush has been intimidated by drug profiteers on Mexico


11 posted on 01/20/2009 7:49:21 AM PST by righteousindignation
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To: righteousindignation

in Mexico


12 posted on 01/20/2009 7:50:49 AM PST by righteousindignation
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To: DuncanWaring

I think it was a give and take to try to continue legislative support for the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. No matter what the dems said, they always voted to continue the funding.


13 posted on 01/20/2009 7:54:05 AM PST by mnehring
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To: Jeff Head
did not report it (which was a mistake) and then proceeded with that story (another mistake).... For those mistakes there should have been administrative punishment...but not criminal prosecution

I disagree, criminal prosecution should be in line for ANY LEO who covers their mistakes by lying, especially when the "mistake" involves shooting someone. If they can get away with it when it's an illegal drug smuggler, they'll get away with it when it's a US citizen regardless of criminality.

I don't think they should've gotten prison, that's nearly a death sentance. But they shouldn't be allowed to be LEO's any longer.

14 posted on 01/20/2009 7:54:28 AM PST by American_Centurion (No, I don't trust the government to automatically do the right thing.)
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To: SmithL

I’m disappointed that Libby didn’t get pardoned. Disgusted, actually. Bush had a chance to repudiate that partisan “Plamegate” witch hunt. Fail.


15 posted on 01/20/2009 7:54:28 AM PST by Doohickey (The more cynical you become, the better off you'll be.)
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To: DuncanWaring

The question, better phrased, is: Now that the sentences have been commuted, why are Ramos and Campean not released today but months from now?


16 posted on 01/20/2009 7:54:37 AM PST by Paladin2 (No, pundits strongly believe that the proper solution is more dilution.)
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To: SmithL

>>>”In that Bush had stood by U.S. Attorney Johnny Sutton’s prosecution of the agents, as well as the jury verdicts, this is the best outcome that was to be had.”<<<

This is more appropriately written: “In that Bush had stood by his BUTT-BUDDY’S prosecution of the INNOCENT agents WHO WERE JUST TRYING TO DO THEIR JOBS, as well as the MISLED jury verdicts — BV A JURY WHO WOULD NOT HAVE VOTED TO CONVICT IF THEY HAD KNOWN THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DRUG SMUGGLER — this is the best outcome that was to be had FROM A MEMBER OF THE SMUG, SELF-SERVING BUSH FAMILY — THE FAMILY WHO SINGLE-HANDIDLY RUINED THIS NATION.”


17 posted on 01/20/2009 7:55:44 AM PST by PhilipFreneau (Make the world a safer place: throw a leftist reporter under a train.)
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To: Paladin2

I was wondering that myself.


18 posted on 01/20/2009 8:04:08 AM PST by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: SmithL
I am glad that Ramos and Compean “will be freed” (they won't be released until March, they are still in danger in prison) but think that former President Bush is a heel for waiting this long to do the right thing.

He released drug smugglers and Scooter Libby far earlier.

What was the downside to making this motion?

Sure it looks like the “explanation” was designed to appease the Mexican government with mea culpas about these agents (if it was really about justice, Johnny Sutton would also be serving in jail for abuse of power) but just WHAT policy with Mexico would have been harmed if this had happened in October 2008 rather than Jan 2009?

A few more conservatives might have gone to the polls if Bush had done this before the election.

No, it's been said that former President Bush had to be dragged to this decision.

19 posted on 01/20/2009 8:04:23 AM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: PhilipFreneau
"THE FAMILY WHO SINGLE-HANDIDLY(sic) RUINED THIS NATION.”"

I'd say that the blame falls squarely with the electorate.

20 posted on 01/20/2009 8:05:42 AM PST by Paladin2 (No, pundits strongly believe that the proper solution is more dilution.)
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To: Jeff Head

I couldn’t be more grateful for your post and am praising the Lord that folks like you really understand what this is all about!!!


21 posted on 01/20/2009 8:06:14 AM PST by righteousindignation
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To: American_Centurion

The jury was told that this “victim” was unarmed. Who was it that said he was unarmed? The drug smuggler himself.

He violated his own immunity deal when he kept smuggling drugs into the country afterwards.

The agents fired when they believed him to be an armed man. Perhaps he was. Certainly his own statement means nothing as to the truth. “he said/he said”.


22 posted on 01/20/2009 8:06:59 AM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Jeff Head

>> I wish there had been a full pardon. <<

It’s my understanding that Ramos and Compean didn’t really want a pardon, since accepting a pardon is sorta like an admission of guilt. Moreover, a pardon would have ended their chances for an appeal.

So what they apparently wanted (and still want) is an opportunity to follow thru on their appeal and thereby establish their innocence.


23 posted on 01/20/2009 8:09:42 AM PST by Hawthorn
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To: Doohickey

So Bush is a pseudoconservative with compassion? He
sure had me (and lots of others fooled)....the guy is
more like the media had him portrayed..a dumbo with
no regard for anyone, but his own little cubbyhole..
Libby, and a helluva lot more, desreved full pardons..
He haS ruined the Republican party with his half/ass
stubborness. ‘06 elections would have been different
if he sacked Rumfield before the election. He hung
everyone out to dry. JK


24 posted on 01/20/2009 8:09:55 AM PST by sanjacjake
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To: Jeff Head
It wasn't as if though they wnet and got a firearm to specifically commit a crime

You must've missed it when the Justice Department claimed that these Hispanic men said "I'm gonna go shoot me some Mexicans today".

THAT was the case that was made against these men by our own crooked government. Johnny Sutton engaged in Nifongism.

Nifong got brought up on charged afterwards. I would like to see Johnny Sutton charged for his own prosecutorial abuse. Lies of omission are lies as well. "you promise to tell the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth".

25 posted on 01/20/2009 8:10:31 AM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: SmithL
The reason for the long sentences - dumb laws. The federal mandatory minimum system, enacted by Congress in 1986, tacks 10 years onto a federal crime committed with a firearm.


And you don't hear a single congress critter stepping up to the plate to amend the law they passed..... Yet many was front and center pushing for the pardon/commutation.

Now maybe Ramos/Compean can get on with a new life albeit a much different one from their past.

26 posted on 01/20/2009 8:12:25 AM PST by deport
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To: a fool in paradise

None of what you stated justifies two LEOs failing to report the incident involving discharge of a firearm, and then not being forthcoming when questioned about it. LEOs like this shouldn’t be LEOs any more.


27 posted on 01/20/2009 8:18:29 AM PST by American_Centurion (No, I don't trust the government to automatically do the right thing.)
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To: theDentist
So, the last day W commutes 2 sentences. How many did Clinton commute or pardon his last day? 140.

I was thinking along those lines as well. It certainly is refreshing to have a president who doesn't sell out his pardon power to the highest bidder.

28 posted on 01/20/2009 8:19:34 AM PST by eclecticEel (The liberal's sense of compassion begins and ends with their own person.)
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To: Paladin2

President Bush always said, regarding the commutations, thet he would act when the agents exhausted their legal options. This was not done until about a month ago when the third review by court re-affirmed their convictions and sentences.


29 posted on 01/20/2009 8:20:48 AM PST by pfflier
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To: muawiyah

I think that as well, but in that CNN interview (or was it Fox?) Bush said he didn’t understand the whole “Bush Derangement Syndrome” exhibited by the left and that he didn’t pay much attention to his critics. I don’t really buy that response as it did seem like he was afraid of rocking the boat against the MSM or the Democrats.


30 posted on 01/20/2009 8:21:47 AM PST by Blue Highway
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To: SmithL

I wouldn’t be surprised if President Bush’s ratings went up 20 points after commuting the sentences of Ramos and Compean.


31 posted on 01/20/2009 8:22:33 AM PST by Sun (Pray that God sends us good leaders. Please say a prayer now.)
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To: American_Centurion
They did not know that they had hit the man. He continued across the river into Mexico. Given what happened, I believe they were justified in the use of their firearms.

People on the jury, who were kept from knowing what manner of man the agents were dealing with, upon hearing the entire truth afterwards, indicated they would not have voted to find them guilty.

If the shooting was justified in the least, and I believe it was, then what they did was a procedural and administrative mistake that should have been handled as such...and perhapos harshly in those terms...but these men should not have been sent to prison or been found guilty of felony charges.

The trial, in that regard, was a witch hunt by a politically charged prosecutor, IMHO.

The legal story here is not over and will not be until they have exhausted their appeals. We shall see how it stands at that point.

32 posted on 01/20/2009 8:22:45 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: Hawthorn
They said this after the commutation. I bet they would have taken a pardon had it been offered...and believe they deserved it.

HAving said that, I support them fully in their appeal process and pray sanity will prevail and their convictions will one day be overturned.

33 posted on 01/20/2009 8:24:34 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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To: eclecticEel
One wonders how many pardons bama will give considering all the crooked buddies AND TERRORIST FRIENDS that will get caught in the next 4 years.
34 posted on 01/20/2009 8:28:29 AM PST by Blue Highway
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To: theDentist

How many will Obama Pardon? Probably the whole corrupt DNC congress, governors, mayors, etc. People pardon based on their own ethics and what they judge to be right and wrong. That is why Clinton had so many. Just wait for this liar who wrote on his Law bar that he had never gone by any other name.


35 posted on 01/20/2009 8:28:45 AM PST by FreeAtlanta (Join the Constitution Party)
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To: FreeAtlanta

Our responses separated by a mere 16 seconds. “Great” minds think alike, unless they happen to be inside of a liberal.


36 posted on 01/20/2009 8:32:38 AM PST by Blue Highway
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To: eclecticEel

Not only did Clinton sell his pardons to the highest bidder, those who coordinated the sales and the spouse of Bubba will hold positions within the Obama administration even AFTER vetting by Congress.

Our government is as corrupt as it can possibly be.


37 posted on 01/20/2009 8:35:17 AM PST by a fool in paradise
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To: Jeff Head
They did not know that they had hit the man. He continued across the river into Mexico. Given what happened, I believe they were justified in the use of their firearms.

Should have reported discharging of firearms immediately and filed a subsequent written report.

People on the jury, who were kept from knowing what manner of man the agents were dealing with, upon hearing the entire truth afterwards, indicated they would not have voted to find them guilty.

A slimy tactic, but in truth has no bearing whatsoever on the the Officers' conduct. Officers don't get to pick and choose what to report no matter how slimy the criminal.

If the shooting was justified in the least, and I believe it was, then what they did was a procedural and administrative mistake that should have been handled as such...and perhapos harshly in those terms...but these men should not have been sent to prison or been found guilty of felony charges.

Agreed, it COULD have been handled administratively IF they had been truthful and forthcoming upon interview. However, they weren't, they misled the initial investigation, that's criminal in any book.

The trial, in that regard, was a witch hunt by a politically charged prosecutor, IMHO

If they wanted to be dealt with fairly, they shouldn't have tried to hide their crime. You can't choose your prosecutor and who doesn't know that some of them (most?) are zealous? I disagree with prison for them, because they could easily be murdered in prison. But they should NEVER be cops of any sort ever again, hence my support of criminal conviction.

38 posted on 01/20/2009 8:37:08 AM PST by American_Centurion (No, I don't trust the government to automatically do the right thing.)
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To: joe fonebone

Thats pure 100% gold-plated bullcrap.

They were *not* criminals. And it’s interesting, all this talk that the agents should not have hidden any fact, for any reason. Yet, you seem to be ok with Sutton being allowed to HIDE from the jury *the fact* that the smuggler was working off charges that occurred AFTER the date he was shot? Testify “right”, and you don’t face smuggling charges for 800 lbs AND you get a green card?? No reason to lie there, huh?

Also,,, the smuggler was armed, dont be dense. He was the only smuggler in Mexican history, who in the middle of a gang war, that carried his loads UNARMED? Sure he was. And how do we know he was unarmed? Why,,we asked him a few months later.

Sutton lied far more montrously that anything those agents did. And besides,, you shoot and miss at a guy who runs into Mexico? Why bother with a lot of useless reports? Grow up.


39 posted on 01/20/2009 8:40:43 AM PST by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: muawiyah

Exactly. We were told in 2000 that Bush was a conservative. It was a lie. Bush has only courted the conservatives when it came to election time, and then immediately after elected made nice with his enemies, inviting Kennedy over to the White House for movie night, letting him write the education bill, etc.

We had better not make the same mistake in the future and elect more RINOs. There are no differences between RINOs and Democrats.


40 posted on 01/20/2009 8:43:27 AM PST by deannadurbin
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To: Paladin2

Nope,,, the Bushes talked one way, and governed another. They waved the flag for us,,,and then worked non-stop for internationalism in banking and governance.

The Bushes are nothing but the worst of the Conspriacy theory types worst dreams. They DELIBERATELY undermined our independence financially and politically.


41 posted on 01/20/2009 8:46:24 AM PST by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: DesertRhino

yeah you are right....shooting a suspect in the back, cleaning up the scene, lying to your supervisor, falsifying official reports, nothing illegal or immoral there...and the fact that they did not know the dope was there until after they cleaned the scene.....if these two are your kind of hero............


42 posted on 01/20/2009 8:47:33 AM PST by joe fonebone (The libtard votes in every election, regardless of the candidate.)
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To: Jeff Head
When they write their book someone should make sure their "ghost" checks out Free Republic threads. I think we've prepared some of the most innovative motives for Sutton ~ and you just know he's not going to sit still for any indepth interviews with the "ghost".

His life is ruined.

43 posted on 01/20/2009 8:52:52 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: American_Centurion

Yes it justifies it,,, but only down on the border. It’s a damned lonely place that city cops wouldnt like much. And LEGALLY, a lot of rules are different in the border zone,, they USBP can enter private property without permission,, profile,,, and conduct searches that a city cop would never be legally allowed. Quit being so hard on these guys.

And i don’t see what their astrological sign has to do with it! So what if they are LEOs?


44 posted on 01/20/2009 8:53:15 AM PST by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: joe fonebone
Don't be silly. The perp wasn't at the scene ~ he ran away into Mexico perfectly healthy. He's probably still got the gun stored safely at his mother's house.

The part of the scenario you and others of your kind keep proposing simply did not exist ~ it couldn't and everyone can see that.

45 posted on 01/20/2009 8:54:58 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: joe fonebone

Obviously, another pro-illegal alien poster. You do not know the facts of the case. Maybe you work for the Mexican government?


46 posted on 01/20/2009 8:56:34 AM PST by UCFRoadWarrior (Memo To George W. Bush: Geo. Washington, Abe Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt all were Protectionists....)
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To: SmithL
The reason for the long sentences - dumb laws.

Far more than the dumb laws, little Debbie, the reason was a crooked prosecutor and other BP, and Federal agents in league with foreign national Mexicans to clear the route for drug and illegal alien smuggling into the US.

Crooked prosecutors and cops and a STUPID predisposed Jorge Bush, that's all it took.

47 posted on 01/20/2009 8:57:39 AM PST by Navy Patriot (John McCain, the Manchurian Candidate, makes a Marxist President.)
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To: American_Centurion
Your argument might make sense if there had been no supervisor on the scene. Since there was, what was it they were hiding?

This entire case has been based on "after the fact" reconstruction of "could'a beens".

Toss in a few misapplications of law, and there you have it.

As I have said time and time again Sutton's life as a Republican politician, if not as a lawyer, is ruined.

48 posted on 01/20/2009 9:02:10 AM PST by muawiyah
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To: joe fonebone

You watch a lot of cop movies and CSI, huh?
In the back doesnt matter a whit in the first place, (except in movies) but the testimony clearly showed that the CRIMINAL was hit by a quartering shot as he ran away, aiming back towards the agents. It came in at a 45 degree angle (*and* it was a nice shot, in the dark, from bad footing).
Agent saw his partner fall.
Also, It was widely known by every agent at the scene, including a supervisor what had occurred.

Also,, hate to ruin your perfect police academy world, but unreported shots and exchanges are COMMON along the border.

And the dope,,, i never heard them say anything about shooting him because he had dope.
And yes,, they are hero’s.


49 posted on 01/20/2009 9:04:36 AM PST by DesertRhino (Dogs earn the title of "man's best friend", Muslims hate dogs,,add that up.)
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To: American_Centurion
If they wanted to be dealt with fairly, they shouldn't have tried to hide their crime.

And this is where we disagree. If the use of their firearms in the line of duty was justified...and I believe it was...then what occured with the shooting was not a crime, so there was no crime to cover up.

What they did in not filing the reoport properly and then not coming clean with it on first blush was administratively wrong, and certainly could have led to disciplinary action.

But if they were justified in shooting...and, again, I believe they were...then they did not cover up a "crime", they covered up a justifiable shooting because of the politically charged environment they were in and that is what should have been recognized and addressed.

But, the powers in place up the line did not want that little truth to come out, so, in my mind, the whole ardent prosecution of two men riking their lives in the line of duty, in the process of which they drove off a criminal alien from these shores, was itself a cover-up for the real truth driving the whole thing.

And so, I hope their conviction is overturned and that the real truth of the matter some day comes out. Until it does...we will not be able to protect our borders the way they should be...our own agents will fear for their careers...and their own very lives...too much and it will impact how they respond to threats.

50 posted on 01/20/2009 9:04:55 AM PST by Jeff Head (Freedom is not free...never has been, never will be. (www.dragonsfuryseries.com))
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